The Force Awakens director J.J. Abrams was on The Daily Show last night – technically to promote Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation, which he produced – but he did tell a story from the Star Wars set. Turns out, Harrison Ford wasn’t the only one injured in the door incident… And Abrams has a pretty good Woody Allen impression to go with his Lawrence Kasdan. Who knew?
Despite a hefty amount of fan grumbling over the focus on ‘practical effects’ coming out of The Force Awakens publicity machine, I doubt anyone actually believes that the film isn’t going to have any CGI. (And, let’s face it, us hardcore fans aren’t the audience that they’re going for by saying that in the first place.) But if you’re wondering, and don’t mind spoilers, Making Star Wars has some (supposed) details about the completely CGI shots that are in the film, and where practical effects are are used.
→ Also on MSW, a few Rogue One details, and how they relate (or not) to The Force Awakens, via a bit of creative recycling.
Before you start going off about how fast The Force Awakens is going to beat Jurassic World‘s box office record (yawn) be sure to listen to the latest Full of Sith. Predictive box office talk is usually beyond tedious, but there’s a lot of smart thinking here on summer movies vs. winter movies, how little it actually matters in our case, and other factors. (No, nobody is doubting it’s going to make a ton of money.)
→ Wild speculation alert: Kylo Ren and Ewoks? Well, someone has a burnt Vader helmet which likely originates on Endor, so sure, okay.
→ More evidence at the Irish Examiner that Star Wars may be returning to Skellig Michael.
For those going full spoiler, here’s a new wrinkle: TheForce.Net has a new summary of The Force Awakens, which seemingly claims to be from someone who’s read the novelization. (Seemingly.) It overlaps with some of what we’ve heard from the Making Star Wars camp, but there are some pretty key differences. Who’s right? Who’s wrong? I don’t know, and I’m not fully buying into anything, but there’s certainly a part of me side-eyeing this new entry into the game. (And, shocker, apparently it’s something that’s been floating around Reddit, always a sign of quality.)
It does reference some new thinking on the lightsaber we see in the second trailer that’s been kicking around lately… I think that bit may have some merit, but it’s neither here nor there at this point.
The Wrap is reporting that Benicio del Toro “has the offer” to play the villain in Episode VIII. You may recognize del Toro as The Collector from Guardians of the Galaxy, and (more interestingly, perhaps) he was at one point in talks to play J.J. Abrams’ Khan in Star Trek Into Darkness.
Variety is doubling down with their own sources. They say Lucasfilm really wants an A-list talent in the part – and that they also met with Joaquin Phoenix. (And The Hollywood Reporter makes three.)
del Toro would be a nice get for Star Wars, so it’ll be interesting to see if this goes through. Episode VIII, which is being directed by Rian Johnson, is currently set for a May 26, 2017 release.
Earlier today, From Bricks to Bothans posted a few leaked images of two upcoming LEGO sets from the film. One is an (officially) unrevealed X-wing that we saw at a certain filming location, and the second is the Millennium Falcon. Both include multiple mini-figures – and the Falcon one gives us a few new names. (Though it’s noteworthy that both Finn and Rey remain just ‘Finn’ and ‘Rey.’)
FBTB has since deleted the images, but since they’ve been widely distributed across the internet, I’m putting them up below the cut. Check them out, or not…